18 weeks with some post-taking a nap on the couch hair:)
First, I want to state that I am very pro-breastfeeding but even more very pro-doing whatever is best for your family! I think breastfeeding is beyond nutritious, an incredible bonding experience and I am SO happy for everyone that has good experiences with it. With Brooke I breastfed for about 3 months, with Skye I think I made it around 6 months and with this new little baby coming… I don’t have an ounce of pressure on myself to make it any certain amount of time. With Brooke and Skye I really wanted to make it a year and didn’t hit that goal that I pressured myself with so this time around there is no goal.
I’m definitely going to try again but I’m also going to pay close attention to my mental health postpartum… I really struggle with a lot of anxiety around it all when I am breastfeeding (which probably sounds SO silly to a lot of people) and my milk production/supply/nervousness about feeding/feeling like I’m always doing it wrong consumed 90% of my thoughts when I did it for Brooke and Skye. It wasn’t until after I finished breastfeeding Skye that I realized how much it was affecting my anxiety. There are going to be a total of 5 other humans I need to be available for in our house come November and if I feel like my mental game is not doing well then I’m going to switch to formula right away. I know this is not always a popular opinion (when I stopped breastfeeding Skye I received many comments about my mothering and every time Skye got sick for a year I was told that it was my fault bc I had stopped breastfeeding) but it’s the best opinion for me and my family. Andrew fully supports this plan of action too!
So I’ll try but if it is killing me off mentally, I’m going to do what is best for us and enjoy this time of life with a new addition to our family. Skye and Brooke both have had their fair share of formula and they are amazing humans. I am really hoping it all goes well but I have put zero pressure on myself to do anything but love this baby like crazy.
PS working with the lactation specialist was amazing with Skye and she helped me out so much to figure it out and at different points really enjoy it… I just want to pay close attention to how I am doing mentally this time around! Just like we would do what it takes to get a broken leg fixed, we’ve gotta do what we need to do to take care of our mental health too! I’ll keep you posted on it all because I tend to enjoy oversharing with you all.
Just a few things from this last week:
*Skye is happily enjoying using my bump as a pillow these days… She also attempts to jump on my bump frequently but I’ve gotten quick at blocking that ha.
*She really has been more cuddly then ever because I think she can sense some changes up ahead.
*I’m feeling more and more flutters which is really exciting.
*I bring Tums with me everywhere I go because when the heartburn hits, Tums helps so quickly to feel better.
*Lately, when I do any strength exercises (I need to do more) I get them from Becky’s Instagram… She has so much incredible information for pregnancy and postpartum women.
*My hair is growing at a faster than ever rate. Normally it seems to never get longer than it does at a certain point but now it is definitely growing past that point.
*My dreams each night are full on NUTS right now and I remember each and every one of them. I’m excited to have less stressful dreams again in the future ha.
*Andrew is loving that I am borrowing his shirts all of the time. One of Andrew’s shirts + biker shorts and I’m good to go. I just need to work on spilling on myself less with his shirts on.
*My bump is starting to make an excellent shelf for my drinks and food.
Share with me your breastfeeding experiences. The good, the bad and everything in between.
Please don’t pay attention to anyone who bullies you about breastfeeding. It’s a personal choice and nobody should make comments when it’s neither their baby or body. If it helps, I didn’t breastfeed any of mine. At 15, 13, and 7, they are all happy, healthy, and at the top of their classes.
I still can’t take tums from eating too many when pregnant. I take alka-seltzer heartburn chews when needed. Tums make me gag horribly.
The Hungry Runner Girl
Thank you thank you thank you for sharing your experience with me and your three amazing children. I’m not even sure why I wrote about it (because you are so right, it’s a personal choice) but maybe to help somebody else out there see they aren’t alone with really struggling with breastfeeding and then seeing amazing comments like yours. Oh I bet I’ll be like you and never be able to eat them again. Thanks for taking the time to write to me, it means a lot Lee!
My kid had only breastmilk for over 14 months (nursed and pumped) and she was sick all the time (daycare baby). Some folks think they know everything, though.
I LOVE your approach this time around! I remember reading about your plans/experience breastfeeding Skye and I feel like I remember you saying things like, “I’m going to do my best to reach my goal of 1 year but I won’t stress it if I can’t” (although maybe I’m mis-remembering), so it’s interesting to hear you talk about how much anxiety you actually did end up dealing with around it. I hope that not having a specific goal (and having two perfect little humans who still thrived after they switched to formula) will help you to feel good about it this time no matter what happens! And how unfair of anyone to judge you…but when people criticize I feel like it’s more about them than it is about us! In any case, the vast majority of us are 100% in your corner and if you need to get a million comments reminding you of what a great mom you are, I think I speak for all of us when I say we’re here for it! ;)
I only have one child so far and she’s almost two now. I definitely planned on breastfeeding and was super nervous about all the issues you hear about – production, latching, painful nipples, etc. I nursed her from the start and I think we did pretty well figuring it out in the hospital, although I was never sure I was doing it right. She was diagnosed with PKU at 4 days old, though, so she ended up having to have the majority of her nutrition come from a specialty medical formula (if she gets too much protein in her diet, it could cause brain damage and mental retardation). The doctors we had at the time advised us to switch to commercial formula since we would know exactly how much protein she was getting, so we did, although I continued to pump just in case. At our first follow-up doctor’s appointment a few days later, I asked if I could breastfeed and they said yes, but still recommended I pump so we could measure how much she was getting. So I exclusively pumped all the way until she was 15 months old, just so she could have a few ounces of breast milk within her protein tolerance. I’m really proud of how hard I worked to do that for her, but it also was kind of an awful experience – exclusively pumping is HARD because you still have to do it as often as you would nurse! So like 9x a day in the beginning! Ugh. At the end I was down to 2x a day but it still wasn’t fun to have to pump before bed or at work every day. I later found out that tons of PKU moms still actually nurse without issue (they just limit how long, or how many times a day, etc.), and it hurts to think that we stopped even though we didn’t actually have to.
The Hungry Runner Girl
You are just the best Kelly! Yep you are so right, I definitely wanted to not care and told myself I wouldn’t but I definitely ended up really putting a lot of pressure on myself. You are so right and thank you so much for supporting me. I think at the time I just felt so terrible about stopping that those comments really stung but luckily my skin just gets thicker and thicker over the years to the very few daggers:). ALMOST TWO! Such a fun stage and just the best to keep seeing more and more of her personality. I bet that it has been so incredibly hard figuring out her diagnosis of PKU and you are absolutely amazing. And to pump for 15 months, wow. I cannot even imagine. You are a strong woman. Thank you for sharing your story with me and I hope you and your little one are having a beautiful day.
I’m a first time mum and still breastfeeding our almost 14 month old. Honestly, I’ve come to fully support all moms whatever decision is best for their families. We had it easy at the start, but then our baby dropped weight at 3-4 months. I found lactation consultants not on top of all studies out there and one even said our baby needed to be more chubby or that my milk was probably not fatty enough, this after making sure I was producing enough and baby was having good feeds ( which is usually were they point fingers first). Both me and husband are long and thin, this is how babies are in my family, our baby was just fine , active and thriving , even ahead of milestones but I couldn’t shake off my mind that lactation consultant saying my baby needed to be chubbier. I spent 6-8 weeks focusing on trying to fatten her up, I had my days going around her feedings and nursing in dark room to minimize distractions , I tried to supplement but she would just spit it out (because she was never hungry) it was so frustrating to get her weight check and realize she wasn’t getting chubbier . I read and reread articles and was convinced we were just fine but again I couldn’t shake off my head that careless comment. I finally gave up on trying to have a chubby baby and relaxed but I totally understand how comments from others can make us so anxious when it comes to our babies nutrition and wellbeing. Our pediatrician was supportive and would cheer me up after weight checks, our baby still long and thin and thriving. If I didn’t have support from pretty much everyone around me I would have gone insane. Kelly mom website is a pretty good source for breastfeeding info.
I’m so sorry, didn’t mean to jump into a comment thread. I thought I was making a new comment hehe. Is amazing you pumped for 15 months !! Way to go mama!
I’m sorry that people feel that they can criticize your decisions, Janae! It is obvious that you always put your family first and make the best decisions for your family.
I stopped breastfeeding when my daughter was 5 weeks old. I had no supply, mastitis, and it brought on major anxiety. Luckily, my Mother in law stepped in and helped me see that formula feeding was best for us. My daughter is 15, healthy, happy and a great student and runner!
The Hungry Runner Girl
I am SO glad that your amazing MIL was really able to help you through that time. I don’t know what it is about the anxiety that comes to some women with breastfeeding but add that to mastitis and no supply and it’s so hard. Your daughter sounds amazing and I love that she is a runner too, thank you for sharing with me and for your sweet words. I hope your Wednesday has been a great one so far, Leanne!
FED IS BEST!!! Whether that feeding is from the breast or a bottle… It does. Not. Matter. I felt like breastfeeding was the only thing that came “easily” to me as the mother of a newborn – we didn’t have many problems with it … but everything else (crying, sleep, my mental health etc) was a struggle. I do think if I ever try for another child and our breast feeding relationship goes smoothly, I would be much more open to using a combo of formula and breast milk, because breast-feeding is a lot on the mom…To be the one solely responsible for feeding them… It’s very overwhelming!!
The Hungry Runner Girl
Fed is best. 100% yes. That is an excellent point, breast-feeding just feels so overwhelming which contributes to the anxiety because I’m the only one that can do it for them. Thank you for sharing your experience and the struggles that you did have. Have a beautiful day and thank you!
Informed is best: fed is the minimum. It’s okay to have whatever feelings you have around your breastfeeding journeys with Brooke and Skye, and I think that sometimes (not necessarily in these comments but in general) fed is best minimises the myriad complex feelings mums can have around feeding (“Eh, it doesn’t matter, fed is best!”)
I’m still feeding my 18mo, and my only advice is to feed, feed, feed. Don’t try and force a schedule – just offer boob at the slightest whinge! Cluster-feeding and clinginess is so, so normal in the newborn phase/fourth trimester, and mums often think that these things mean they’re not producing enough milk or that their baby would sleep so much better if only they had formula. Cluster-feeding is your baby’s way of bringing in your milk supply, and sleep is entirely developmental. Maybe get a basket of toys and snacks the girls and Knox can break into while you feed.
Omg it breakes me heart to hear that people gave you a hard time about breastfeeding and for how long. It’s none of our business and frankly you don’t need to tell us when or if you do. My daughter is almost 20 now but the breastfeeding issue did come up between a friend and I (even though I literally didn’t make enough milk, I nursed her for 9 months but always had to supplement with formula) and our long term friendship was basically over. Please do what’s right for you and remember you don’t have to announce Anything.
The Hungry Runner Girl
That breaks my heart Christina that you had to go through that with a friend of yours. Absolutely heartbreaking and not right. Andrew asked me the same thing about why I was posting about it because it causes me so much anxiety even thinking about trying again but I hope it’s just to let other people know that it’s not just sunshine and butterflies for everyone. But I agree, I probably won’t talk about when I do stop afterwards because I will want to keep that more personal! Thank you for sharing and I hope you have a beautiful rest of your day!
The mom shaming makes me so angry. I just had my 3rd a couple months ago and have breastfed all 3, with my older 2 doing extended BFing. I got plenty of judgy comments about choosing to breastfeed and how long I was breastfeeding for… there are just some people who will want to bring you down no matter what you choose! I’m glad you are prioritizing your mental health. I had terrible postpartum anxiety with my second and it makes me sad to think of the time I lost with my baby that I’ll never get back. You shouldn’t regret making a decision that allows you to be present with your family and enjoying your new little one!
I hate that anyone would make you feel like less than the amazing mother that you are! You do the best you can and just love those babies, they will thrive either way because they have so much love in their lives. My second daughter would just not nurse. She would cry and cry at my breast, she would cry and cry at the bottle, it was HARD. You have to take care of you and your mental being to be able to take care of the rest of the family so please don’t listen to anyone who is less than supportive of you doing your very best.
The Hungry Runner Girl
Donna, this was just the pep talk that I needed… it means a lot to me. Oh I bet that was so so hard with your second daughter. Thanks for taking the time to write to me and I hope you are having a beautiful day!
Oh did you just speak to me and my current feelings/emotions!! I’m 4.5 months postpartum and still breastfeeding. It was going great until I went back to work. Now we struggle with supply, more interest in bottles over breast and I had mastitis last week (never been more sick in my life!!!). I’m aware of the anxiety I place on myself with breastfeed, but I just can’t seem to fully give it up yet! I do supplement some now, but I’m addicted to the closeness I feel with my babe while feeding him. It’s for sure a love/hate relationship with breastfeeding at this point though with the anxiety and pressure I put in myself!
The Hungry Runner Girl
Katie, I am SO so sorry about what you are going through with breastfeeding now that you are back at work. And mastitis is the absolute WORST! Trust your intuitions because nobody can make a better decision than you. You are an amazing mama and PLEASE keep me updated with how you are doing and let’s put a lot less pressure on ourselves:). Thanks for sharing!
I’m so sorry to hear that you got a bunch of negative comments regarding how you chose to feed your babies! That’s just ridiculous, people should find more important things to do. I do understand that people are really passionate about breastfeeding – it’s such an amazing thing to be able to do, for you and your baby! But if it becomes a stress factor or an anxiety trigger, then it’s obviously not an amazing thing anymore and you are so right and brave to take the best decision for you and your family. I was able to breastfeed both my kids as long as they wanted to, but in hindsight I can see that it probably cost my mental health a lot and stressed my other relationships. I wish I’d had the strength to put my health and the Wellbeing of the whole family ahead of what I was told was best. The pressure to be a breastfeeding goddess mama is REAL and I really salute you for planning on doing what’s right for you and your fam, and being brave and sharing it on the internet. Rock on, sista!!
First and foremost, you are an amazing mom! You need to do what’s best for you and your family. I breastfed my son for 2 months and my daughter 6 weeks and had to stop for my mental health as well so I totally understand what you’re going through. My husband totally supported my decision to stop and now my kids are happy and healthy 20 and 17 year olds! Unfortunately, in this day and age of social media, it’s easy for people to say mean things and think nothing of it! God’s blessings to you and your family ❤️
I love love love this post. I just had my little guy last week. # 2 for me. As a RN and newly APRN I also believe in breastfeeding but only as long as it benefits mother and baby. Any amount of breastfeeding and breast milk benefits mother and baby but when it becomes an issue for either side it is best to switch to some of each or transition fully to formula and nobody should give you a hard time for it. I’m glad you don’t feel pressured this time and can do what’s best for everyone involved. I also wore my significant others shirts around the house once mine no longer fit, and had lots of heart burn. It’s been been following your journey both personally and as an avid runner, although I have always been jealous of your ability to run while pregnant. I wasn’t able to with either pregnancy. Thanks for blogging and sharing. Long time reader,
I let my anxiety get to me before I even started. I had 2 friends who had to take their kids to the hospital due to dehydration so I was already freaked out. And then we took the breastfeeding class and they were talking about listening for swallow sounds and I was thinking to myself “I have to listen? When I am already tired?” And I’d heard from friends about kids eating for an hour. And I worried about breast feeding in public. And I knew I was going to be going back into the office at 12 weeks so I needed to pump anyways and I had heard of people who didn’t try a bottle until right before they went back and the baby refused (plus I need my sleep – no way I was going to let me husband get off without any feedings!) So yeah, I went into it already stressed out, but I wanted to give it my best shot.
I had a c-section with my daughter, and she ended up being tongue tied (which the lactation specialist diagnosed right away when she was about a week old), and we had people painting the outside of our townhouse when I got home so I couldn’t walk around the house with nothing on. So I didn’t feel like I had the ability to real figure it out. And while my husband was supportive, he wasn’t really going to sit with me and try different things.
BUT….they gave me a pump to use in the hospital (I was there for 6 nights) and my insurance covered a pretty good pump that my parent picked up so it was waiting for us when we got home (my joke was that my milk came in on the way home from the hospital – gosh I wish I had a picture of my boobs that day – holy crap, we were running around trying to sterlize everything – thankfully I had some milk from the hospital and we did have those little bottles of formula they give you).
What I found was I had a super supply! So really immediately I was thinking – can’t I just do this? The lactation consultant came a couple days later and I was successfully able to feed her once, but I HATED that I couldn’t tell how much she had had. I analyze data for a living. I wanted to be able to write down ounces. The LC told me that Exclusively Pumping isn’t great, but I didn’t listen. I ONLY did it because I had a great supply. Within a couple weeks I wasn’t waking up in the middle of the night to pump (though I was staying up later than I would have liked).
After that initial week she didn’t get formula until she was 3 months old and then had a combination until 9 months – I stopped pumping at 6 months. We had gotten through flu season. I wanted to my body back. I wanted to be on a real Pill (I hated the low dose pill – I didn’t trust it)
With kid #2 I didn’t even try – I had the supplies. I knew the routine. My body reacted the same way. And this time we had a chest freezer! So I pumped for 9 months with him and he got almost all breast milk for a year. He was born in March so I wanted to get him through the next flu/RSV season. My daughter was born in August so I felt like I really only had to get through 6-7 months.
I feel horrible that people criticized you. And if Skye was sick said things – that is so horrible. People need to let people parent however they want to. You are going to have FOUR kids! Formula is 100% okay!!!! And mental health is SO important!
This resonates with me so much! I’m exclusively pumping right now (2.5 months in), and I honestly can’t imagine another way? To me, it’s actually really convenient that my husband can feed her, I can stretch out times between pumping sessions if we’re spending time with family (my father-in-law would truly die if I breastfed with a cover in his presence), etc. Maybe I’m the crazy one, but pumping is much easier to me than breastfeeding!
Wendy, I exclusively pumped with my girls too and plan to if I have a third! I felt like I was the only person in the world doing it at the time so I just want you to know you’re not alone :) And it felt SO much easier to me too than breastfeeding as well!
I exclusively pumped too! Mental health is the priority!!
I cannot understand people who criticize about formula or breastfeeding. I’m sorry you had to experience that.
I wasn’t able to produce enough breast milk for my son despite trying everything and it is still very upsetting to me this day. Pumping is definitely one of the loneliest and most defeating experiences for me. Leave a mama alone! You don’t know what battles she has been through. I love your approach to breastfeeding and wish you all the best!
Anxiety around breastfeeding is not silly at all. It’s all consuming . Your child needs to eat 1000x/day, and if you don’t hydrate enough, eat enough oatmeal/flax/wtvr, and pump when your breasts get too full, you won’t produce enough milk. My daughter was allergic to milk (not lactose) so I also didn’t eat any dairy the whole time I breastfed (helped with post baby weight loss, but my coffee was sad, and my life was cheese-less). And don’t even get me started on storing, freezing, labelling, and defrosting safely. It’s really just so much.
I think we are progressing from breast is best, to fed is best + Mama’s mental health is paramount.
My friend never really produced milk and it was such a stress. For her second baby, she asked the nurses at the hospital for formula and they gave her a hard time. So for her third baby she packed the premade bottles of formula in her hospital bag, trusting her own judgement and skipping having to justify her decision to the nurses
Breastfeeding is so emotional!! I was grateful I was able to do it but now I know that if it’s too much I can stop and formula will be just fine.
I can’t stand when people breastfeed shame!!! A fed baby is a happy, sleepy, loved baby and that’s what matters. There’s zero point in stressing about how to feed your baby. All they need is a full belly and some snuggles so however they get that is perfectly fine. I had a great breastfeeding experience with my oldest (currently expecting another girl mid August). I nursed for 14.5 months, never supplemented, and donated almost 600oz to the milk bank. I loved every minute of it and felt soooooo guilty stopping because I wanted another baby and hadn’t had a period yet. When we were done I was SO relieved and SO happy to have my body back. I don’t know why I didn’t stop sooner!!! Nursing for however long you can or want to is an amazing experience but you can bond equally and have an equally healthy and happy baby with a formula or supplemented baby. Best of luck!!!
With my first, I was able to nurse almost until her 1st birthday- had to supplement with formula a little bit toward the end, but not much. Like you, I didn’t realize until I stopped nursing how much it was triggering my postpartum anxiety. I felt like a whole new person when we weaned. Now, with baby #2 I felt the same way you did- I was not going to sacrifice my mental health to nurse exclusively for a year. I was ready to supplement as soon as I needed to. Baby #2 came out sucking on her hand- she is a champion nurser and I have not had any anxiety or emotional concerns yet this time around. I think your attitude about it is perfect- breast is only best if it’s best for mom AND baby.
And if it makes you feel any better, my EBF first baby caught a million colds her first year of childcare. Didn’t matter what she ate!! I also saw a meme floating around along the lines of “breast, formula, whatever- by the time they turn two, they’re all eating old French fries off the floor anyway”.
Janae, you were the reason I let myself stop breastfeeding my second daughter (who is close to the same age as Skye). I too put SO much pressure on myself and that combined with postpartum depression, I was a wreck but felt incapable of making the (right) decision (for me) to stop breastfeeding on my own. You saved me by posting about it and making me feel that it was okay for me to stop too. I know it’s impossible to understand how impactful you are on others when you’re vulnerable, but I truly know how much guilt and weight that took off my shoulders so that I could breathe again. Thank you ❤️ Thank you so much.
I really really dislike all the pressure of breast feeding!! I tore myself apart with both kids when I had to stop because of all the pressure there is out there! I was able to make it awile with my first but my 2nd had horrible reflux so we stopped after a month and guess what? She got sick far less her first year than her older sister! It truly does not matter as long as that baby is fed and loved!
Yes yes and yes! Thank you for having this conversation. I breastfed for 3 months and it affected my mental health so much. I was shocked how many negative comments I got about stopping. I’m pretty sure my daughter was tounge tied even though it was never diagnosed, because my nipples were completely mangled and painful the whole time!! And even if they weren’t, I still would have wanted to stop. Next time round I will definitely be comfortable using formula whenever I need to, and hubby can get up to some of those nighttime feeds!! You do you.
It is so sad to me that instead of people encouraging each other they criticize others. The topic of breastfeeding is such a tough one for me. With our oldest daughter I put a ton of pressure on myself to make it work and on top of that our pediatrician did too. With her my supply wasn’t enough and our daughter screamed her head off for 9 weeks straight. Our pediatrician was telling us to absolutely not supplement with formula. We finally did at 6 mo and it was the best decision. With our 2nd, 3rd and 4th it had severe pain and after literally trying everything, I couldn’t handle the pain so I exclusively pumped. Thought brought a whole new level of stress and anxiety especially the more kids we had needing me. With #4 (who is now 9mo. Old), I gave it up at 5 weeks. I decided I had to for my sanity. With very little regret, it was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I so wish I would have thought each time to focus more on my mental health and put that above making breastfeeding work! Go you! Our kids are all very healthy and now I don’t regret for a second feeding them formula. I am so blessed to have a supportive husband who was totally ok with whatever was best for me! I am so happy for your family!
Breast feeding Natzis are the WORST! Seriously they leave no room for any other options- your nipples are cracked and bleeding-power through! Intubated in the ICU-I am making it making it part of my advanced directive that you pump my breasts! (Actually heard this)
I definitely enjoy parts of breast feeding-the bonding, soft baby breath, snuggles etc
But I also struggle with it. It’s hard for me not to know how much my baby is getting and I worry about my supple being too. low ALL.THE.TIME. I have three kids and while I have some sadness/regret whenever I stop breastfeeding them (always long before a year) I always feel so much better. I think my hormones even out and I start feeling more like myself when I stop. Plus it’s nice to have my husband help with the feeding.
Best of luck on this next journey. You do you and don’t listen to the crazies ❤️
I wish somebody would have shared this article with me before I gave birth in November. There’s no real proof that breastfeeding has any of the magical benefits everybody raves about. https://www.google.com/amp/s/fivethirtyeight.com/features/everybody-calm-down-about-breastfeeding/amp/
But, because I like the affordability/convenience/connection of breastfeeding, I’m nursing my almost 7 month old now as I type this! And I honestly would love to keep nursing past his 1st birthday. But I spent 5 very painful/tearful weeks dealing with vasospasm and serious latch issues and then one day it just clicked for my son and we never looked back! But did we end up in the ER the first night he was home from the hospital because we were worried he was dehydrated? Sure did. He was supplemented with formula at the beginning, got bottles of my breast milk too, used a pacifier from birth, etc and was still able to learn how to nurse after a month of struggle.
Fed is best!
Wow, I can’t believe you get those kind of comments from people. As a mother of two (22months and 3months) I literally cannot fathom having my personal choices – choices that I struggle to make, feel copious amounts of guilt around, and endlessly question as to whether or not it’s the RIGHT decision – questioned and criticized by complete strangers. Being a mum to a new babe is full of anxiety, doubt, confusion, and guilt (along with all the happy emotions ,of course!). You’re honestly so brave to continue to put yourself out there and share your experience just in the hopes of helping someone else.
I’m currently breastfeeding my 3 month old and desperately want to stop (for physical and emotional/mental health reasons), but know that during the pandemic breast milk is his best chance at staying healthy. I have so much guilt about even THINKING about stopping… but I know it’s going to have to happen soon, especially for my mental health. I’m a better mum when I’m not breastfeeding, and that’s what’s most important.
I’m so glad you’re putting zero pressure on yourself this time, it’s such a hard thing for us mums to make choices in our best interest sometimes. I hope it goes better for you this time, but if it doesn’t, you’re among many friends who have had to stop, knowing that in the long run we’re doing the best thing for our babes ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Sometimes it amazes me how opinionated people get with other peoples lives! Especially for something like breastfeeding. The choice to breastfed or not will bear absolutely NO difference on their life, so why share your oh so unhelpful opinion?!? We, as Mama’s, need to LIFT each other up! Mamahood is sooooo hard, we are the last people that need to tear each other down and make it harder!
I attempted breastfeeding with all three of my babies. For my first, they said I needed to use the nipple shield, which was terrible, so messy, and so stressful. I finally quit after 3.5 months and gave into formula. I felt so guilty, but I bonded so much better with him after I stopped stressing myself over breastfeeding! P.s. that kid hardly ever gets sick ?. My second I made it almost 6 months before my supply gave out, but I am a teacher and it was soooo stressful finding time to pump while working. For our third I managed to make it 11 months which was fantastic and hard at the same time. Each one is so different. But I 100% agree that your mama mental health is so important!
I wanted to breastfeed so badly. I was an undersupplier and I began to freak out when my baby was losing too much weight at her day 3 weight check. I needed to know how much she was getting, so I switched to exclusively pumping with formula supplementation. The lactation consultants tried other things, so I could continue to try direct nursing, (feeding formula through Syringe while nursing) but pumping worked out best since I could keep track of the ounces. It was super time consuming and I felt like I missed out on a lot at times, with my baby and family. I was pumping 8-12 times daily (to keep my low supply as high as I could), and I felt pretty tied down, literally! Looking back, I probably would’ve been a lot less anxious/stressed if I had made a full switch to formula sooner. She’s my only child, so I was only taking care of her, but it was still a lot at times. It was just something I was super stubborn about, but I wish I’d been more stubborn about taking care of myself!
Thank you for bringing up this topic, and I hope you can do what is best for you! We need to all support each other through the adventure of motherhood! <3
I have absolutely no experience of breastfeeding as i don’t have kids.
But i think it is 100% the right choice to do what is good for you and your family. It is a personal choice, every situation is different and nobody has the right to tell you what to do.
I can’t believe what some people told you when you stopped it with both of your daughters.
Just do what YOU need to do.
Have a beautiful day !
Echoing everyone before me in saying I am so sorry you received those comments when Skye was sick, etc. It makes me so sad to hear how critical people are of others’ very personal decisions. Thank you for your vulnerability and sharing your life with us, despite these downsides. I BF my first for a year and am 5 months in with my second. While it’s been convenient, cost saving, etc etc it’s also meant ensuring crazy engorgement in the start, a bout of mastitis, blocked ducts, you name it. You do you! If you make it six months, great, six minutes, great! The fact that anyone may have an opinion about that is bananas. :)
I so desperately wanted to breastfeed my daughter but between NICU issues, lack of support and a whole slew of other things it just didn’t work. I pumped for a couple months then switched to formula. Some people were good, others made snide little comments that hurt worse than if they’d just been flat out mean.
So my daughter is now 11 and when she was born I was absolutely beyond anxious. I was later diagnosed with post-partum depression. Even 11 years ago the feedback I got was so slanted towards breastfeeding at the expense of everything else that I could barely cope. I found the pressure to be overwhelming. Finally, a kind older nurse during one of her wellness calls said to me, the way you’re feeling may not improve until you finish breastfeeding. I made the decision to stop breastfeeding at around 3 months and within a couple of weeks I was feeling massively better (although the depression took another year to resolve). I guess the point of this ramble is that young moms need to hear that whatever works best for them is the right thing to do and they should NOT be bullied, shamed, or judged for keeping themselves healthy first. Thanks for being a voice of sanity.
I just have one little boy (almost 4 now). I was really keen to breastfeed. I expressed colostrum before he was born and took it to hospital frozen and topped him up with it. I ended up with an emergency c section and my milk was a little slow to come in so it was handy.
It turned out that my son had multiple food intolerances and he couldn’t tolerate those proteins via breast milk. So I was on a wheat, corn, soy, and legume free vegan diet from the time he was tiny.
I breastfed for 2.5 years on the crazy diet the whole time and I’m so glad I did. It was the one thing that went well for us- he was such an unsettled baby who was really only settled when he was boobing.
He still remembers too!
I tried breast-feeding with both my girls and both times I had postpartum and some anxiety around breast-feeding as well so it didn’t work out for us for long and with my first at 2 months she was losing weight
I’m so disappointed people bullied you about breastfeeding! Especially because it is SO stressful for some of us. I struggled with my daughter and supplemented with formula from the start, but my son REFUSED formula and bottles. It was terrible. I know I’ve written this on here before but I would literally have to go to his daycare to feed him during the day. I was a mess, getting zero sleep because I wasn’t making enough milk to fill him up so he was eating every hour at night, was full of anxiety and I just had to deal with it until he could eat solids. It was a miracle he was never underweight. Oh, and he got so sick once he ended up in the hospital. When you have other kids, that just happens. They’re full of germs. So ignore all that sickness hate. I would PRAY he would take a bottle and give me some relief, but he’s a stubborn one. Haha. :) I’m glad you’re not putting any unnecessary pressure on yourself. <3
Hi Janae! I’m so sorry people decided they felt it was their place to give their opinion on breastfeeding when you stopped with Skye. Not a mom or even pregnant but as a 20 something female, I’ve already heard from others the breastfed vs. pump fed vs. formula fed. You know what the best option is: FEEDING YOUR BABY!! Some mother’s can produce enough to breast feed and that’s great! Some babies won’t latch and they get a bottle with pumped milk, awesome! Some mother’s can’t produce enough or for their own health reasons (whether mental or physical) to formula feed, fantastic! In all those situations the baby is getting enough nutrients to be able to be health, grow and thrive. Over here supporting YOUR choice since it’s YOUR body and YOUR health that also needs to be considered. <3 xoxo
With Baby #1, I was nervous all the time about breastfeeding, and with good reason. He wasn’t growing well, he seemed unhappy, and I felt like a failure. It turns out he had a tongue tie that was not diagnosed until 8 weeks (pro tip: ask in the hospital before you go home!!), and by then we were supplementing and of course that affects supply, as does being anxious.
With Baby #2, she seemed fine at the beginning but I was still anxious. But at her two week check-up, we learned she had gained TWENTY OUNCES in a week, and I was never worried about her again in terms of getting enough milk. I supplemented when necessary, but I didn’t feel guilty, because nursing was a pleasure, a connection that no longer held the anxiety and shame and worry that it had with Baby #1. I hoped to make it to a year, and we made it to 17 months! We stopped only when I realized I had become her going-to-sleep aid rather than literal nourishment. We traded nursing for cuddling.
All this to say, ANXIETY IS SO POWERFUL. Listen to your body, trust your instincts, and ignore the haters .
Wow I can’t believe people would comment on that no less blame you for your child getting sick. I’ve only had one experience breastfeeding and it was such a breeze for me I feel bad talking about it because I know others do not have it so easy. I’m having my second in September so we’ll see if it was just an easy nursing baby or what! All power to you though, there’s no room for Shane or guilt in motherhood because you’re doing God’s work and he would never want you to feel those things.
I just love your thoughts about breastfeeding! I found it stressful as well I think especially because you need to be available to that little baby 8+ times a day and no one stand in for you, even once! It’s really hard to balance that, other children, and the overall changed family dynamic. Bottom line is always going with what feels right!!
Awe, so sweet Skye is aware changes are coming…
I really feel for my blogger/internet friends who have to explain and/or apologize for how they choose to live their lives—I’m sorry you guys have to deal with so many unkind comments. You are doing a great job as a mama and you are an awesome human! Please continue to not let silly comments bring you down—you are AMAZING, just as you are! ❤️
I am so sorry you had anxiety around breastfeeding! That must have felt scary and lonely. I was able to breastfeed my four kids relatively easily after the usual early weeks of discomfort and frustration. My 2nd was the most difficult but that was because he had a not so great latch and suck. He naturally weaned around 8 months. My other three were much longer and my 4th was the longest. My daughter, #3, used to have this really goofy sound she’d make when hungry and needed to breast feed. Her older brothers caught on to it and when she’d annoy them or they didn’t want to hold/entertain her they’d “sing” her song and she’d instantly roll/crawl/look for me to nurse. It was hilarious and sneaky of them! I swear one of her first words was “side” because even as a newborn I’d talk and say “okay Chloe, let’s switch sides.” She called breasts “sides” for the LONGEST time.
Anyway, I actually felt breast feeding got easier with more kids because it became quiet time and let me focus on the baby, who was baby on the go with all the older kids activities. Rather than feel rushed or like I had to stop whatever to breastfeed, I changed my mindset that it was a nice break from the bustle and the kids respected it as baby time. It really made something enjoyable for us all to have the quiet time, or I could nurse at the dinner table and in a sense, it truly was family meal time for each person! I know it sounds odd, but it really helped me during all the crazy with a busy and active family. I did marathon train and breastfeed with baby #4 which was interesting but we figured it out. That being said, I did have ample milk supply but would not have hesitated to supplement. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend marathon training with a baby but my mom wanted to qualify for Boston and I knew we’d be doing a nice training plan. My son (#4) was 7.5 months when we ran the marathon AND my mom got her BQ. I didn’t even think about it for me but was like 9 or 11 minutes off for my age group. Again, it never occurred to me or was in my plan but plenty of people felt the need to tell me how many minutes off I was. My mom, brother, and I all ran it (he paced someone else, I was on mom pacing duty).
We are all different in how our bodies and minds handle pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding. But we are all mamas and support and love each other in our mom-hood. Babies need to be fed and in the end, doing what’s best for mom to feed babe is the goal to get baby a full belly. Some babies are breast fed, some are bottle fed, some are fed both ways, some are finger fed with syringe and tubes. If someone wants to breast feed and needs help, I hope help and support is available. Even if breastfeeding is “easy” for baby and mom, support is still encouraged (lactation services are amazing.) It makes me sad when people get all judgey because what works for one doesn’t for another. I never thought I’d breastfeed as long as I did with my 3rd and 4th but it just worked out that way.
Sending ALL THE MAMA love to you and anyone reading!!!! By the way, I’m a 50 year old single mama with 4 kiddos and a previous Labor and Delivery/Post Partum nurse and trust me when I say everyone is unique and just please give love to all moms. Don’t we all have enough of our own inner struggles to deal with? Love and support and encouragement can go a longgggg way.
Breastfeeding is wonderful – but it’s not THE most important thing and you’ve got to do what works for you ALL. I breastfed my baby and it didn’t stop him getting bronchiolitis (supposedly more common in non-breastfed babies). Sometimes they just get poorly! I was never given any breast milk by my mum and am annoyingly healthy, and actually quite smart too ;-)
In praise of breastfeeding though: you’ve done the really hard bit twice (so well done!) – it gets so much easier after 6 months. Actually – it was tough around 6-7 months as he was just so hungry then and hadn’t quite got the hang of solid food but once he did, ahh – it was great!
Hi! Can you recommend a swimsuit for pregnancy? Any advice would be so helpful – thank you!
I agree that breastfeeding is so good for babies, and yet I did not breastfeed either of mine. After much consideration, it just wasn’t right for our family. With that said, I have happy, healthy, smart, active 10 & 3 year old boys (and one started in the NICU at 34 weeks). Again, breastfeeding is a great choice, but I just think there are so many other factors that help children grow to be strong and healthy such as sleep, vitamins, healthy diets, exercise, prayer, and love. Love your blogs :)
Ohhh my gosh, my jaw dropped when you shared what people have said to you when Skye was sick!!! That is truly awful. Thanks for continuing to share despite the craziness of some people :)
I have been trying to think of one syllable names for you!! haha I came up with Reese, Reed, Bryce, Blaire, Blake, Sloan, and Chase. Note that this is me actively avoiding thinking about names for my own baby when I can’t sleep at night!! Helping you decide seems less stressful ha ha ! Hope you have a great day!!
Happy mom = happy baby, fed is best!!!! Have you read Cribsheet by Emily Oster? She has a whole chapter on feeding that proves out (with data) that formula and breastfed babies have similar outcomes!! You are strong to ignore the haters who comment on your parenting and how you choose to feed your children.
I, like you, set a goal to breastfeed my baby for a full year. She turned 8 months today and we are still going strong…but there are days I feel over it and want my body back. Yet there is so much societal pressure on moms to breastfeed I feel guilty wanting to stop! I think many people don’t understand how difficult breastfeeding is mentally. I struggled with oversupply for the first 5ish months and spent so many hours (and tears) worrying my baby wasn’t getting the best nutrition, despite the the pediatrician telling me not to worry…when things finally settled I started worrying I didn’t have enough supply, so there is no winning! Now that my baby is older, I worry what it will do to her mentally/emotionally when I decide to stop…if I do stop, will I find a formula that agrees with her tummy…?
Breastfeeding is HARD! In hindsight I wish I didn’t set a time based goal, as not hitting goals doesn’t feel so great…so all said, I think your approach is the right one! Raising little humans is hard enough without unnecessary pressure :)
My first baby is 2mo old now and we’ve finally hit a breastfeeding routine! It was definitely really rough the first month, from mastitis and cracked nipples from a bad latch. I finally (we were delayed due to covid) got to see a lactation specialist and it was like an on/off switch–so much better afterwards! I applaud you doing what is best for your family! I’m also trying to not setting myself a goal for breastfeeding length. I’m on clinics in vet school and I just want to be flexible and comfortable with whatever my schedule looks like!
If people are going to be rude might I suggest just not discussing whether you are nursing or not? Unless you think it will help your readers.
I honestly want to cry when I remember the days of feeling forced to make it to a year of nursing my son, him screaming at night and I had no milk left to give by the end of the day but he refused a bottle so I’d just cry too, me at work with my classroom door locked hunched over a desk in the back of the room pumping like it was a dirty secret. Seriously a horrible experience.
My daughter did so amazingly on formula. A wonderful sleeper and thriving in every way possible, wayyy less illnesses throughout her childhood than my son!
There are children neglected abused and starving maybe we should focus on helping those children instead of the bottle fed and loved children!
Sorry if this sounds negative I just get very riled up on this topic hehe ?
You’re almost halfway there!!! While breastfeeding is a great option, it also doesn’t mean the baby is going to turn out any different if it’s formula fed. Do what’s right for you and your family! Also, what size dress did you order? It looks so comfy and just what I need for my growing bump too.
I have twins who were born a month early and were apparently “lazy suckers.” I could never get them to latch. I was able to pump for a year and give them breastmilk but was never able to breast-feed them. I remember feeling so incredibly guilty over not being able to breast-feed my children. I was just completely stressing myself out over trying to get them to latch and struggling. We did up doing half breastmilk and half formula because I also did not make enough milk to feed two babies. It was great because then at night my husband and I took turns feeding them and I was able to get a little bit more sleep also! Good luck this time around and I think not putting any goals or pressure on yourself is such a smart thing to do. I know I don’t know you, but you seem like such a wonderful and loving mother, I know you will be amazing!
My oldest was born at 35 weeks and was to little to breastfeed, so I pumped fulltime till he got big enough to breatfeed. My daugthers are real champions, they haven’t had any problematiek with drinking! And what a difference that is. I breastfed the middel one till she was 13 months, and the baby is only 11 weeks today so who knows. My goal is a year, but we’ll see. I totally agree with your post. Of course breastfeeding is good for the little ones, but not if your own (mental) health is suffering. Or not even that, every mother should feel free to do whatever she wants. And you shouldn’t have to explain yourself if you start with or switch to formula.
It makes me sad that you got negative comments about using formula. I mean come one, it’s formula! It’s not poison!
Your approach to breastfeeding sounds incredibly sensible. I wish more people would acknowledge that breastfeeding isn’t the hill to die on and pressure yourself over – fed is best, especially if you need to take your mental health into play. Best of luck to you!
I’m sorry to hear you have had such a negative reaction to a very personal choice. You are an amazing momma and clearly have children who adore you and are happy and thriving!
I’m currently breastfeeding my first baby who is 4 1/2 months old and have been loving it (minus the first couple weeks which were very painful). However, he now has 2 teeth and loves to clamp down at the end of feeding which gives me sooo much anxiety haha ;)
I feel you on the anxiety around breastfeeding! I had so much anxiety around getting my LO to take a bottle (which she now happily does!) My sister was visiting the weekend we decided the really push the bottle and she and I went out for the day and I think I talked about how anxious I was about the bottle 99% of our day together instead of just enjoying our time alone. And then when LO started taking the bottle better I stressed about how to pump enough milk! Now she is 4.5 months old and we are doing great – breastfeeding for bedtime, at night, first feed of the day and bottle the rest of the day which is amazing for my sanity because my SO can help feed so I can take a shower or work from home or whatever. I pump 1x at night around 3 or 4 am, then 3x during the day (7a, 11a, 3p give or take based on how to day is going)… But man, sorting out how to make this work was crazy! Hopefully for the next kid I can chill about it better because of this experience. I also do not have a goal for how long to breastfeed, basically I told myself as long as it’s working for all of us I’ll keep it up which helped me switch from driving myself crazy pumping 5x a day to my current schedule which is much more manageable! So I totally feel you and support the taking care of your mental health. There have been so many times I had to give myself permission to do something for ME because I knew it would make me more patient and present with my little family. Thanks for being so open and honest about your experiences, I read through your posts about breastfeeding as I have been going and it’s just nice to hear someone’s reality and struggles and joys of it. I’m sure whatever you end up doing with your LO will be perfect for your family!!
Breast fed both my boys for 14 months BUT it was so hard with my first. I needed the lactation consultant weekly for about 6-8 weeks at the beginning. And still, he was so colicky the paediatrician almost put him on formula (a very special type) at 5 months. Anyway, being breastfed did not stop him from getting sick; people who judge are not informed. He had more antibiotics before his first birthday than my second child had in his first 7 years of life! Good luck! Can’t wait to “meet” your little one when the time comes.
My fourth kiddo is 9 months old currently and a bottle baby – one of the most unexpected blessings was a terrible case of mastitis when she was 7 weeks old that led me to stop breastfeeding. I’ve breastfed each baby for a shorter and shorter time (I made it a year with my first), but it wasn’t until I stopped that early that I realized how many of my postpartum mental health struggles were tied in with how long I breastfed! I wish I would’ve heard more support to listen to my own needs, I wonder how much happier and more engaged of a mother I could have been if I had just switched to bottles sooner on all of them. This feels like my first baby that I am actually able to fully enjoy and connect in the first year, it breaks my heart how much I missed on the first three. I am so glad Andrew is supporting you 100% in this. Trust your heart and don’t let the postpartum mental monsters win. My mantra: fed is best.
Thank you for sharing and being so open! I’m almost 6 weeks post-partum with my first (Molly!) and we have been on breast milk AND formula since week 2. Doing a little bit of both had been an awesome (!!!) balance for me mentally/emotionally/physically and she’s digesting just fine going back-and-forth, too!
Sending prayers and good vibes to you from afar… Have a great day!
My pediatrician gave such good advice! “A happy mama makes a happy baby.” Whether breastfeeding, bottle feeding, or a combo makes you happy that is what will make your baby happiest. Our doctor was super pro-breastfeeding and helped me a ton but I totally agree that you have to do what is best for your family.
I feel bad for any criticism you receive for sharing your life. I love being a part of your journey and enjoy hearing everything you are willing to share. Helps me to “escape” when I can hear what is going on in someone else’s life. I probably look forward to your blog too much :) I hope you block out the bad, focus on the good and continue to share you and your family’s journey. Blessings to you and prayers for a healthy baby.
Janae – do you read Cup of Jo? I love this post about motherhood:
Lots of love to you!
We were lucky; we nursed in the delivery room and never stopped. My best friend came over at one week and helped me pump, so my husband started giving an 11pm bottle, which allowed me to sleep from 9p-2/3a within 10 days of taking our little guy home. Priceless. We went to nursing support classes–free through our hospital for 3+ months–2x a week. I went back to work full-time at four months (high school teacher–pretty set schedule/periods) and pump multiple times a day at work for the bottles that went to the grandparents’ houses (our daycare that first year). In the end, he’s an EBF baby.
Now, all that being said, people are total and complete trash cans for those emails/comments.
The mom-shaming is vile and must stop. Working moms, formula moms, moms who use a hospital instead of a water bath at home, moms who deliver with pain meds, moms who have C-sections, etc…the attacks are deliberately meant to pin women against each other and make some sad sack feel better about herself. Gross. Please, move forward with your head held high. You are a mother who supports her children with love and kindness, and that matters more than anything else.
Oh goodness the breastfeeding opinions! I got criticism for feeding my first child too long, and second child for not long enough. Do what works for your family. I was a formula baby and I’m healthy, as is my husband. People have so many opinions about all things parenting, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution for anything (sleep, feeding, etc). The most important thing is keeping yourself sane and healthy, without that you won’t be able to give much of anything. I wish you all the best!
Colleen W Sprunger
I had plans of breastfeeding 100% no formula but we struggled from about day 3. We had so many issues from a tongue tie to inverted nipples to low supply. I told my husband that I had so much anxiety about nursing and every time I would dread it. I don’t know why but I felt so much pressure (from no one???) to keep going even though I was MISERABLE and my baby struggled to get enough. Finally about six months old I was done and it was awesome. If I have another baby I will put ZERO pressure on myself to breastfeed. Lots of babies have formula and turn out juuuuuust fine. And I love my little boy SO MUCH and it has nothing to do with breastfeeding because that part was awful hahaha Anyway, you do what works for you and anyone who tries to talk negatively about it to you can take a walk. It’s such a personal thing and no one knows that someone else is going through.
Late to the comments. But just in case you read them. Your approach is breastfeeding is 100% the best! Try, and do whatever works for you. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. And it’s nobody’s business but your own. I dare you to walk into a highschool classroom and identify which kids were breastfed. Can’t do it. :) Honestly, if it causes you anxiety, that’s not worth it. And sometimes your milk isn’t the best thing for your baby. But you know all this already. My worst experience: coming home from the first night out, with engorged breasts and the baby crying because it wouldn’t take the bottle. My husband was devastated. And sometimes I think non-breastfeed babies have a better bonding with BOTH parents, not just the mom :) Best experience with breastfeeding… last year I had a double mastectomy. I kept telling myself “at least my breasts were able to feed by two babies.” My kids are teenagers, and I only breastfed each one for about 6 months. But knowing I did that brought me a lot of peace when I had to lose my breasts.
BF caused me so much anxiety the first time around, that when I had the second, I started formula Day 1. This was a very unpopular opinion, but it was best for me. Breastfeeding the first time made me abosolutely miserable and so strapped down. It caused serious PPD. When I went into the second without it, the experience was so much better for my family. No tired, grouchy mama.
Ohhh my goodness, I love this post so much!! For me, breastfeeding was one of the worst experiences of my life. With my daughter it caused major mental stress and anxiety (we had latching issues and I had mastitis and oversupply) and had I kept doing it I would totally have set myself up for postpartum depression. I was MISERABLE while breastfeeding her. I made it 9 weeks and gave up and was so so so much happier. With my son I did it for 4 weeks and happily stopped when it was too much for me. This is your body and your family and it does not matter how that sweet little baby is fed. I love what the person above me said about walking into a high school and picking out which children were formula fed vs breastfed. You would never know and you don’t need to know because it doesn’t matter! I love your approach to all this – you’re the best, Janae :-)
I’m so over mom-shaming in any form. Doing what is right for you and your family is the only way to go. Haters gonna hate and they can hate over there from a distance. I’m sorry that happened. That being said, formula is the bomb.com! I had twins and did the best I could but I packed it in at 6 months. My mental health was suffering, my husband was suffering and my babies were suffering. We switched to formula and never looked back. Do you girl!
Absolutely do what works for your mental health and your family. I think that it is good that breastfeeding is encouraged by healthcare providers and society in general, but it can go too far. Sometimes it just doesn’t work, or it takes too much of a toll. No one should feel bullied or pressured. Everyone’s journey and body is unique! Breastfeeding worked for me, but natural birth didn’t – I ended up with failed inductions and c-sections with both my babies. I felt a lot of failure and guilt about the whole experience, and questioned if it affected my bond with my kids. 4 years later and I’m in a much better place with it all. I think there is too much pressure to do things the “right” way, and too much messaging that our bodies “know” exactly what to do. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t! Everyone’s experience is different.
I’m pretty sure I told you this when you had Skye but I tried breastfeeding my first 2 and I was the EXACT SAME. It was so much pressure and stress and when I got pregnant with #3 just thinking about breastfeeding gave me anxiety. Around 20 weeks I decided to not even attempt it and my dr fully supported it. My husband was too! I honestly think he was relieved ? For some reason deciding beforehand took off the pressure of having to give it up, you know? And he is perfectly healthy and happy! Anyway. Not saying you shouldn’t even try. Of course do what’s best for you. But I fully support formula at any point! I agree that your mental health is just as important and you are an amazing mom! I never got the hater thing. It’s not like you’re poisoning them or not feeding them at all? Of course breast milk is the most nutritious but formula is great too! Anyway. Sorry for the rant. I get so fired up about this because it took me to getting 3 kids to realize I was putting unnecessary pressure on myself and I hate that society does it too! Anyway. Okay end novel ?
I’m just going to say it, I HATE breastfeeding. I breastfed my 1st three and had to pump and bottle feed my 4th. I didn’t have to but I chose to and my anxiety over all of it was out of control! I don’t know why I stressed myself out over it. Looking back I would have chilled out and switched to formula!! Haters are going to hate!! You do you!!
Congrats for the beautiful posts! I am from Romania and I read your blog for some time.
I am a new first time mum. I don’t know if you can still find new info considering you are very experienced, I learned a lot from Dr. Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding + support groups ( La Leche League and others) and William Sears – The Baby Book. Have a wonderful pregnancy!
Fed is best is my motto. Going into my first pregnancy I was NOT going to even attempt to breastfeed. I had supplies purchased and was going to bottle feed from the start. My first was early by quite a bit, the lactation consultant recommended trying to breastfeed for bonding mostly and well it seemed to have stuck as I quickly adjusted to exclusively breastfeeding and fed for 7+ years straight (3 different babies and sometimes tandem) however I say all of this to say, you just never know how it will go and less pressure you put on you and your family the better. Anyone who feels the need to provide negative comments on anything is just a bully. Ignore them and do you :)
I am so happy to see your family growing and I cannot wait to see what HRG baby turns out to be .. I think BOY. We are getting ready to welcome our 4th (anyday now) and the anticipation is real in our house … from everyone!!!
I completed the Expecting and Empowered program during my pregnancy and now postpartum. There is a huge focus on functional strength and there are pelvic floor exercises to do to strengthen your pelvic floor and then re strengthen postpartum. I can’t recommend them enough. They’re on Instagram as Expecting and Empowered.
I’m so sorry people were rude to you when you stopped nursing Skye. Moms put enough pressure on themselves already, there’s no need for people to add to that! My sister had a similar experience with anxiety while breastfeeding her daughter. She struggled with anxiety pre-pregnancy and after she gave birth she was constantly worried her daughter didn’t have enough milk, trying to work out the nursing schedule in her head and stressed over when she would need to feed her next and more. She decided to use formula after a month and instantly was so. much. happier! I am so pro doing what works for YOU. Because a good mom is a mom that is present, not one that is tangled up in anxiety, you know?
My breastfeeding experience has been crazy. I wanted to give up at a lot of points (I struggled with thrush, clogged ducts, and engorgement in the beginning) and was totally mentally done at one point so I tried to give my daughter a bottle with pumped milk… and she wouldn’t take it! She actually never took a bottle, so I pushed through with nursing. My mom didn’t breastfeed, so I didn’t really think I would. I decided to just try, and then my daughter decided we were definitely going to, LOL.
Ah the flutters, those are the best!! So happy for you guys!
Don’t feel pressure to breastfeed. Do what’s best for you. Period! I wasn’t able to breastfeed any of my children and I was shamed at times. After baby number two I didn’t let any of it get to me! ? live and learn right?
Oh I’ve been having ridiculous dreams. Sometimes I think they must be because of something I watched on tv. But now when I go to bed I want to sleep a dreamless sleep.. like Joey on Friends ?
I like drinking sleepy time tea at night . It calms me and at least makes me think I’m going to have relaxing dreams ?
Be well! ?
Some of the best advice I got was that I could both breastfeed and supplement with formula. It took a lot of pressure off of me and my husband could help more. Pumping never worked well for me and I ultimately only breastfed for two months, but I felt anything was better than nothing and set a good foundation for my daughter’s health. That being said, there is so much pressure to exclusively breastfeed but it shouldn’t be at the cost of your mental health, especially during such a stressful time and during recovery from childbirth. Formula worked great for us and my daughter slept longer stretches because she was getting enough to eat. Win win! Thanks for sharing, you are keeping a great perspective on it all!
Janae, thank you for this. I am currently 20 weeks with my second and I breastfed my daughter (almost 3 now) for about 6 months and I felt like a huge load was lifted off of me when I stopped. I struggled big time with postpartum anxiety and depression and so the breastfeeding and pumping at work just got too much. I am so sorry that you received negative comments-I will never understand why people care so much about how other people’s babies are fed. Like you said, we will do what’s best for us and our families, no judgement or shaming needed.
Thanks so much for sharing your perspective on this, it’s so refreshing to hear that I was almost in tears reading it. I have two kiddos, 4 and 2, and I breastfed them both until about a year. But my mental health 100 percent took a toll especially because I’m so affected by the hormones. I don’t think we’ll have any more kids, but if we do I would definitely want to adopt your mindset. There are so many expectations from other moms and society and we put some much pressure on ourselves too and it’s just all too much. I love your honesty and willingness to put you and your family first. Thank you!! And congrats!!!
My first breastfeeding experience was a nightmare – I made it 3 months, countless lactation appointments and nothing helped. Looking back I really had no idea what I was doing and no mom friends to ask.
My second I made it 6 months and that was because the stress at my job and pumping just were not meshing well. I felt an instant relief when I stopped pumping and I think it was the best choice.
My third I ended up making it 14 months I think? I don’t even remember. It was definitely easier in the beginning to get a good latch/milk supply and I knew what questions to ask and a million friends to bounce ideas off of. It was also my number one goal in life in a good way – it was the thing that mattered to me. So I did whatever I had to do.
That said, because of my experience with my first (and the guilt I still feel TO THIS DAY and he is 8) I fiercely believe that moms need to do what is best for them. I HATE the breast is best line – I fully believed it has destroyed more moms mental health than it ever helped babies get breastmilk. Would people rather babies die than breastfeed? Because that is the other option. Obviously, I am passionate about this and it hurts my heart that anyone made you feel guilty ever for that. Your kids are happy and healthy and loved and that is matters! You do whatever you need to do in order to keep yourself and your family safe and happy ❤️
Michele at Everyday Snapshot
I agree, you do whats right for you and your family. Only you know that. Not those people commenting on your mothering for how long or short you breastfeed or if Skye gets sick that it could be from lack of breastfeeding (omg, what the heck people). I made it to the 3 month mark. It was going so great for my baby and I. Really, really great. I also had the 1 year mark in mind. But I got this rash on my hand and my Dr told me to take Benedryl to stop the itching, therefore it should get better. I asked the nurses if that was ok since I was breastfeeding, they said yes it was safe for the baby. So I took it. Was about a month for the rash to clear up but noticed in that month, my milk supply diminished slowly. So slowly you didn’t notice it right away. Until it was to the point I couldn’t build it back up. I tried everything to get it back. But then I was crying everyday about it and you know that doesn’t help. So we switched to formula then. But on a good note, due to that experience. I have had 6 of my friends take Benedryl when they chose to stop breastfeeding to make the ending process/fullness not so terrible. The last gal to try it said it was amazing! No pain and she slept really well !! lol So there’s that. Also, when I called the Dr office about my milk supply problem they said “Oh yea Benedryl does that, dries you up quick”. So they told me Benedryl would not harm the baby, they didn’t tell me my milk would stop. It took me almost a year to get over not feeling like I failed my baby for having to stop after 3 months. Lots of tears for sure. It’s amazing how much our own thoughts and pressure from others can effect us and this process. But she’s 12 now, thriving and well.
The Hungry Runner Girl
Each and every one of you are the absolute best. I cannot thank you enough for sharing your stories with me, being vulnerable and the feeling you send that we are all in this together… we really are! Thanks for lifting one another up and helping me so much!!!! I’ve loved reading every commment!
I am so sorry people were rude and disrespectful about your choices on breast feeding! You shouldn’t have been shamed about your experiences!
The number one rule is feed the baby! I breastfed both my kids. And it was hard and it sucked and I’m sure I put undo pressure on myself. My sister in law made herself I’ll trying to breast feed.
What is best for momma, is best for the baby. End of story. Good luck with breast feeding this time around. A KNOW that your success as a mother has nothing to do with which method you feed your baby.
Tell those internet trolls to stick it where the sun don’t shine
I’m a mom of 4 who nursed all of them for roughly a year each. So I’m an expert…..hahaha, insert laughter! No expert AT ALL!!!! I think your approach is perfect! With my first I put so much dang pressure on myself to do everything “right” especially nursing. It was so hard and I made myself push through. Ughhhh. With each kiddo I learned to give myself a little grace and do what felt best. By kiddo 4 I let go of all expectations and ended up having THE BEST nursing experience of them all. It’s your journey, you get to choose the path. I dont actually have any advice! Just love your approach!
I just to jump on here and say I love you and love binge reading your blog still when I have a free moment. Your just genuinely one of my favorite people. Secondly, people are CRAZY and I’m so incredibly sorry that they felt the need to attack you. 100% wrong and unfortunate & I’m proud of you for seeing past it. My sister actually has a rare condition and does not produce breast milk. With her first 2 she felt so much guilt she pumped blood out of her breasts. I watched the extreme anxiety it caused her with all of her kids & was determined to never let that happen to me. Annistyn was small and struggled latching. I struggled being told I needed to feed her a certain amount & not knowing how much she was getting. I lasted 1 week! It wasn’t worth the anxiety it was causing. I did pump for a year and produced like a dang cow which I feel grateful for. But at the end of the day babies need food and love. ?
I had a hard time with breastfeeding with my little one. She screamed everytime and I cried and it was really affecting my relationship with her. So at 6 weeks I switched to pumping. It was so hard and I still had a rough time mentally. I stopped pumping at 6 months and it made a huge difference for me! I felt so much better. So that is something that scares me about having another child. I am terrified of what will happen because I hated it so much. I believe fed it best but I do know breastmilk has great things and it’s free haha. Anyway, I am so sorry to hear you got mean comments. I hated when people asked me how I was feeding my daughter because I knew I was going to hear their opinion. I like the attitude you have. Your mental health is so important!
It is an american thing. People judge everything. But I notice in America even when people give helpful hints it is called bullying. My sister was told to stop smoking when she was pregnant, her Dr said she could not be his patient if she did not stop smoking. I am sure if she lived in America he would be sued. My other friend needed a knee operation, the Dr told her she needed to lose weight because she was obese. He was right.
Another was told her medication for her mental issues could cause long term effects on her child if she got pregnant. Somethings are true but hurt peoples feelings.
I’m a little behind but thank you so much for this post. My baby girl is 5 weeks on Tuesday and I was 10000% one of those first time mamas who said I was going to exclusively breastfeed my baby till at least 1 year but my supply was low due to a lazy latch and she went from 7lbs 8oz at birth to 6lbs 9oz two weeks later. I now feed her from my breasts first and then supplement with 1-2 oz of formula and she is THRIVING (8lbs 6.5oz at her 1 month appt wooo!). But the first day I gave her formula, I cried all day thinking I was poisoning my baby. What a twisted mommy shaming world we live in that we put this much pressure on ourselves. I still hope to somehow go back to exclusively breastfeeding but if I can breastfeed + supplement for the next several months, I’ll be satisfied with that. Best of luck with your journey!
I definitely think that the whole picture has to be taken into account when you consider breastfeeding! I read a lot of comments and posts and whatnot on breastfeeding before my son was born… and it’s a lot! Do this, don’t do that. Conflicting advice from different doctors. What worked for me was kind of tuning everything and everyone else out. I just focused on doing what I could for my son – and a lactation consultation was SO helpful for us. I have no idea how things will go with having a second whenever that time comes though and I’m sure that also makes a difference. I hope that whatever your experience is this time, it keeps you in a healthy mental space!
“Fed is best” is 100% the truth. Breast milk of course is incredibly nutritious for baby, but baby is going to be happy and healthy as long as he or she is fed! With my first, I struggled with a very low supply, and despite many consultations with lactation consultants, she wouldn’t latch. So, she was primarily a formula baby though I pumped as well – but she only had about one bottle per day of breast milk because that’s all I had for her. She never had any issues with taking either. For #2 coming in December, I’m anticipating a low supply again, and pumping might be even harder to find the time with a newborn and toddler! So I’m also trying not to put pressure on myself. Do what is best for YOU – baby will be happy and healthy as long as he or she has a full belly, regardless of whether that comes from breast milk or formula. :)
Good. For. You! You are your babies’ Momma and you know best what they need and how to feed them! I am still currently nursing my 15 month old and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Believe me, breastfed or not you will receive unsolicited advise that you are doing it “wrong”. I’m told at least weekly that I’m spoiling my child and she’s manipulating me. You just can’t win as a Momma unless you ignore the comments and do what YOU know is best for your kids.
Wow. I’m sorry you went through that. How you feed your kids is your family’s business and no one else’s. I nursed both my babies and guess what, they still got sick. Breastfeeding is great and healthy, sure, but it’s not a magic bullet. And honestly, can you even tell the difference between breastfed and formula fed people? We all end up the same.